Fresh off the back of England Women’s Euro 2022 success, a North East University is offering a unique chance to find the star female players of tomorrow.

Team Sunderland, the sports division of Sunderland University, has teamed up with Sunderland AFC Women to offer scholarships to the next generation of Lionesses.

The university is looking for women playing in National League, NCAA or equivalent and are enrolling in one of the university’s many programmes.

The scholarship provides an opportunity to play and train with an elite club under elite coaches, all while studying.The Northern Echo: Team Sunderland Sport Development Officer Laura HockadayTeam Sunderland Sport Development Officer Laura Hockaday

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Sunderland has a strong connection with the squad as midfielder Jill Scott is from the city, while defender Lucy Bronze and goalscorer Beth Mead have both previously played for Sunderland AFC Ladies.

Team Sunderland Sport Development Officer Laura Hockaday said: “This is a great opportunity for women to continue their football development alongside their studies.

“Football as a career doesn’t last forever and this scholarship will help provide security to those wanting to enroll on a degree course while they play football.

The Northern Echo: Team Sunderland Sport Development Officer Laura HockadayTeam Sunderland Sport Development Officer Laura Hockaday

“We’ve seen with the Lionesses’ success at the European Championships, where several of the team started their careers at Sunderland, that women from this region are capable of playing at the highest level and we’re hoping this scholarship will help to pave a pathway.”

The Northern Echo:  Jill Scott Jill Scott

Jill Scott, who played a key role in Sunday’s final, was made an honorary graduate of the University in July 2018.

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A former Monkwearmouth Academy pupil, Scott started her career with Sunderland AFC in 2004. She moved to Everton in July 2006 and made her England debut a month later.

The new scholarship also offers up to £1,000 of funding, sports massage and physiotherapy, nutrition advice, sport science support and access to the CitySpace, the University’s fitness facility, as well as a host of other benefits.

The scholarship comes at a time of heightened awareness for the women’s game following the England team’s historic win against Germany at Wembley on Sunday.

Alnwick’s Lucy Bronze, played a big role in the victory, winning the ball from a corner to create the chance for scorer Chlöe Kelly.

Beth Mead, from Whitby, who picked up the Golden Boot after finishing the tournament with six goals was also named Player of the Tournament. 

Beth played for Sunderland in her teens before leaving for to play for Arsenal.

Jill Scott has retired from international football, but still plays at club level. 

Other former Sunderland players, including ex-captain Steph Haughton and Jordan Nobbs, who are from County Durham, were not selected for the squad because of injury. 

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